© 2017 by Emily Bierbrauer  |  Photography by Emily Bierbrauer unless otherwise noted. Credit to Alameda Photography & Film.

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Mental Health Is Equally As Important As Physical Health

April 17, 2018

Great strides have been made in the past decade to bring about awareness of mental health in America. I am pleased with the progress that is being made daily and the lives that are saved every second. Part of me grieves the fact that very little is being done in terms of preventative medicine for mental health and how beneficial it could be to all of us.


Physical health is a goal for many. Whether it's about getting fit at the gym or eating better to lose 10 pounds we are constantly reminded of how much our physical health matters- which is great- yet not much importance or goal setting is being placed on mental health. I believe that mental health is as equally important as physical health and should be treated with as much vigor. If we took half as much time shaping our emotional well-being as we did our physique, I think we'd be on to something!


Though people have become more aware, it is still a hard topic to tackle. Many people feel emotional pain at a deep level, but don't know how to accurately depict it. The whole I'm fine mentality is often covered up with food, drink or another vice which can only dig that person deeper. Learning how to reach out, even through the perceived "weakness" (which is a lie your ego created!), can be terrifying and isn't a skill many of us are comfortable with.


We have yearly physicals, we are routinely tested for signs of cancer, we are even put on pre-diabetic medicine and though given the option, many of us do not talk with our doctors about our emotional well-being in terms of prevention. Not to lay the blame on either parties, but it is crucial in these matters to use our voice and express concern as needed. 


Before I list any tips, I want you to always seek help from a doctor before attempting to "fix" things on your own. If you have any suicidal or harmful thoughts, please call your doctor or the National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-8255. 

  • Get enough sleep

  • Pay attention to your feelings

  • Spend time in nature

  • Pursue a hobby

  • Laugh often

  • Grieve your losses

  • Accept yourself, imperfections and all

  • Only try to change yourself, not others

  • Ask for help; you’re not superman or superwoman

  • Spend less time in front of electronics

  • Connect with friends and family

  • Try to do things because you want to, not out of obligation

  • Practice gratitude daily

  • Express your feelings

  • Surround yourself with positive people

  • Exercise

  • Remember it’s healthy to say “no” sometimes

  • Forgive yourself when you screw up

  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs

  • Spend some time alone

  • Get to know yourself

  • Listen to your instincts

  • See a therapist

  • Practice deep, calming breathing

  • If you’ve been prescribed psychiatric medications, take them as prescribed

The tips listed are curtesy of Sharon Martin, LCSW. 

Your mental health is huge and I want you to be a peace- mind, body and spirit . Commit to turning practice into daily habits by taking small steps every day. You can do this and you are worth the effort! 


Photo credit: Alameda Photography and Film


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